Ben Roethlisberger is tough, but unless he suddenly turns into Lee Majors AKA Steve Austin AKA The Six Million Dollar Man, he won't be suiting up against the Baltimore Ravens this week.
And while we're at it, don't be surprised if he misses a significant chunk of time. Just take a look at this gloomy report (via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):
#Steelers Ben Roethlisberger has a rare rib injury that could kill him by pressing against his aorta. Too big risk. Has to wait until heals— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 14, 2012
I realize football is the center of the universe and the Earth revolves around it (sorry, Sun!), and I also realize coaches and organizations have often done some idiotic things in order to help better their chances to win (hello, Saints!), but this is a man's life we're talking about here. The Steelers will, without a doubt, approach this situation with caution.
Considering Big Ben was throwing for 254.1 yards and just under two touchdowns per game to go with a minuscule four interceptions in nine contests, fantasy owners are probably left with a void not only in their hearts, but in their QB-1 slot.
Have no fear, Nick Foles (and others) is here.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
With Michael Vick out, Foles will get a chance to win over the City of Brotherly Love. It's never easy for a rookie to be thrown into the fire after the starter goes down with an injury, but the Redskins are a caring team. They are going to do their best to ease Foles into action.
The colander that is Washington's defense is giving up 7.9 yards per pass attempt (sixth most in the NFL) and 302 passing yards per game (third most). Throw in its inability to get to the quarterback (14 sacks), and Sunday is going to feel like an easy video game first level for the rookie.
What's even better about picking up Foles is his remaining schedule. After Washington, the Eagles get Carolina, Tampa Bay, Washington again and New York.
If Vick's concussion is as serious as it sounds, the third-round pick will be in line to be a fantasy playoff MVP.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
You're going to have to hurry on this one, as Tannehill plays Thursday night, but a matchup with the Buffalo Bills is certainly worth kicking a family member off the computer for.
The Buffalo secondary, in addition to giving up 246 yards per game and 7.6 yards per attempt, have allowed a staggering 18 passing touchdowns and forced just six interceptions. Opposing signal-callers have a 96.8 QB rating against the Bills.
Moreover, Tannehill has quietly been having a very productive rookie season. According to ESPN Stats and Information (via ESPN's James Walker), the former wide receiver, among some other impressive stats, leads the NFL in long-ball accuracy.
Look no further than Tanny-hill—as John Gruden, almost assuredly not on purpose, likes to call him—for a big head start in your Week 11 matchup.
Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh Steelers
Unless it comes in the deepest of leagues, I'm just going to pray that no one be forced to go this far.
But if you are indeed as desperate as a fish in the desert, Leftwich shouldn't be that bad.
And if that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.
Anyways, Big Ben's veteran backup certainly has a few (dozen) flaws in his game, but one thing he does do is throw it deep. With Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders at his side against an injury-riddled Baltimore Ravens defense that hasn't been its normally dominant self this season, the potential for a big play or two will be there.
That's all I got. Proceed with caution on this one.
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